My name is Derek Zeller and I was introduced to ethnobiology through foraging and interest in plants and mushrooms like many of you. I’m a Software Engineer by trade, but biology and anthropology related fields are passion interests of mine. I’d love to find a way to synergize my passions with my career somehow but haven’t found an appropriate way yet. Before I took on the ethnobotany certificate I had no anthropology experience and this endeavor has been life-changing. I love hearing about the ways that people interact with plants and mushrooms and the importance of that interface for both involved. I live in Omaha Nebraska and was initially invited to check out the program through a friend who completed the program a couple of years ago.
I’m becoming increasingly interested in the ethnobiological evolutions as humans have an increasing need for sustainable agriculture. A lot of my time during quarantine has been researching ways that people are growing plants, mushrooms, algae (chlorella and seaweed), and cyanobacteria (spirulina) indoors for food. My hope is that one day I will be able to design an entirely self-sustainable food production within my own home. I feel like this will become increasingly important with our exponential population growth. If any of you have undertaken this endeavor already in any form please reach out! My core interests in ethnobiology are the effect of entheogens and other psychoactives on culture, as well as the evolution of humans with biological sources as the world continues to change with technology and population growth.
I’m looking forward to taking this class with you all!